Swearing is Good for You

If you’ve read even one My Expatations blog post, you’ll know I love swearing. I never understood why it’s seen as so taboo — especially for women. Growing up, my mother tried everything to stop me from swearing. Her favorite threat was, “Say that word again, young lady, and you won’t grow up.” Good thing I didn’t take any notice of that shit.

For me, I find swearing cathartic. It helps me express feelings of anger, frustration and sadness. I find salty language so helpful that I told one of my subscribers ( let’s call her Sheila) how dropping the occasional f-bomb helps me tackle the challenges of expat life. 

Sheila, a love-pat like myself,  emailed me recently because she was so miserable as an expat in Spain. Like all love-pats, she moved abroad for love and had no idea what to expect. I will say, she DID expect it to be a cultural awakening but soon realized expat life is bloody hard. We swapped stories about sour-faced bureaucratic a-holes, the hell that is the Spanish subjunctive and cultural differences that make you scratch every last hair off your ever-loving head. Then we got down to the nitty-gritty. How the hell do you survive and thrive as an expat? Well, I’d never say survive and thrive, cuz I’m not a life coach, so I just told her — swearing saves my sanity. It’s a simple answer, but it’s true.

Clear the Crap Out 

Whenever I feel like I want to chuck myself off a cliff into the Mediterranean, *&$# and &%$# saves me and the lives of many others. Everybody should try it. You get all the crap out of your system, then clear your throat, straighten your clothes and get back to handling your shit. It’s either that or go to jail I always say. 

It’s about not sugar-coating your feelings, so people know right away what’s up. In fact, this is how I scored best friend #2 ( yes, I have two best friends — I know I’m a lucky bitch). I met best friend #2 my second year in Spain, when I had lost all hope of finding real friends.  He was an expat too and had recently opened a restaurant, with his partner, in Valencia. One night, after commending him on the best cosmopolitan I’d ever had, he bluntly asked me, “So what do you think of Valencia?” After I finished licking the bottom of my glass, I tilted my head back up and said, “It’s all right but, sometimes I kinda fuckin’ hate it.” From that moment on we’ve been thick as thieves — plotting bad things to do to idiot people. If I’d been all stupid lady like and didn’t say it just so, do you really think one year later he’d have been my man of honor? I don’t think so.

BFF #2

It’s Science so — Whatever

My husband, however, DOES NOT SWEAR. Like ever. I find it quite irritating really. Even when I found tons of research to back up my belief that swearing is beneficial to your health, he clapped back with “or you could just meditate.” GRRRRRR. I couldn’t change his mind even after reading him the results of a recent study on pain tolerance. According to research, published on studyfinds.org, using the f-bomb specifically increases pain tolerance by up to 33%. I guess saying fudge and cheese and rice just doesn’t cut it. Sorry my dear, but there you have it.

Swearing is Better Than Meditation

Impossible to be a Woman and Not Swear

Now, I know a lot of women don’t like to be heard swearing in public or at home. Notice I wrote — heard swearing. I’m pretty sure when any woman has reached her limit, she says a thousand nasty words in her head. Well, I call bullshit. With all the crap that women put up with, not swearing out loud is NOT an option. Don’t believe me? Try watching Be a Lady They Said by Girls. Girls. Girls. Magazine. The video features actress Cynthia Nixon reciting the powerful blog post by Camille Rainville on the ways society puts pressure on women. If you don’t want to swear after watching that — you are truly superhuman. Get your ass over to Walt Disney Studios and start negotiating your contract to be the next super hero in the Marvel universe. 

Here’s my advice ladies, don’t be a lady. Be a real woman. Sometimes you just gotta say #*&$,*&$# or even &&%$#*&^$^@. Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better. 

What are some of your favorite cuss words when it all goes sideways?  Mine are shit house and faaaaaaaaaak. (Don’t be shy. Drop your favorite swear in the comment section below.)


2021-03-17T11:14:13+01:00 March 10th, 2020|Expat Life|8 Comments


  1. My favourite is “crap”. Short but full of lovely sounds. I love to swear, and so does my husband, and I guess my kids do too. I totally agree, a missile of juicy swear words beats any meditative practice.

    • Janine at - Reply

      Oh yes, crap is a good one. Never ending uses for that one!

  2. Lynn at - Reply

    I grew up in the American Midwest and moved to Germany after I turned 40. When I hear Germans saying “damit”, I smile a little. It’s pronounced “DAH-mitt” and means “in order that [something can happen] “. So maybe it’s a play on words when Americans talk about “Getting Sh!t Done”?

    • Janine at - Reply

      That’s hilarious. I would laugh my head off if I lived in Germany and constantly heard that.

  3. Tri_chef at - Reply

    I love this post!! My favorite is ‘what the actual fuck??’ When I’m faced with something that just doesn’t make sense… which happens a lot😃😃

    • Janine at - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your favorite bad word. It’s such a good one. I said it just this morning.

  4. dee at - Reply

    One of my husband’s favorites is “bollox” and I wasn’t that pleased when our six year old son dropped it into conversation one day!!!For me a good old “for f**k sake” goes a long way!!!

    • Janine at - Reply

      You are so right. For f**k sake is the gold standard of swearing.

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